Tuesday, 29 June 2010

ravioli of pecorino, potato and mint

It hasn't been long since I started making my own home-made fresh pasta from scratch. I think it's one of the most enjoyable and most rewarding things to do. For tonight's dinner I made ravioli of pecorino, potato and mint, another recipe from Jamie's book.

To save a little bit of time in the evening, I made the pasta dough in the morning before going to work. I wrapped the dough tightly with cling film and let it sit happily in the fridge.

After work, I started by making the filling for the ravioli by baking some potatoes in the oven. When cooked, cool the potatoes slightly before scooping out the flesh. Mix with lemon zests, pecorino cheese, chopped mint leaves and a little nutmeg.
A note from Jamie regarding the filling: you want the intensity of this filling to be quite punchy, with the mint and cheese really coming through when you eat the ravioli.

Having made the ravioli. the only right thing to do was to cook them in boiling water for 3.5 minutes. While the ravioli was cooking I put a couple knobs of butter into a frying pan and heat gently. When the ravioli had its time, remove with slotted spoon, reserving a little bit of the cooking water. Add the ravioli to the butter with a little of the cooking water and lightly simmer until the butter turned into a little sauce that coats the ravioli. Serve with more mint leaves and cheese (and a little black pepper too, which I forgot until I had my first bite).

The ravioli was utterly delicious.
At the end of this project, I plan to pick some of my favourite recipes from the book and this ravioli can easily be in the top 10.

Have a great one.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Middle Eastern duck salad

I love duck! they're meaty and rich and delicious. I have to have them whenever I go to Chinese restaurants. However, they can be a bit heavy. But mixing it with some herbs, fruits and nuts and you end up with a light summery dish.

Salad can be boring sometime but this recipe is anything but. It's colourful with varieties of textures and flavours and most importantly it tastes great!

The duck was stuffed with orange halves and a rosemary sprig; and rubbed all over with ground cinnamon, salt and pepper before roasting in the oven for a couple of hours. When cooked, let it cool a little before shredding the meat.

The dressing for the salad is made by mixing preserved lemons, juice of the orange halves and pomegranates in a food processor and then pour through a sieve before adding an equal amount of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

And assembling the salad couldn't be easier. In a bowl, mix some parsley, mint leaves, toasted flaked almond, pistachio nuts, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds and the salad leaves. Toss in some of the dressing and then add the shredded duck meat. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with more dressing. Yum.

And this completes recipe number 144. 20 recipes to go and 65 days left.

ps. England is out of the world cup now... :(

Saturday, 26 June 2010

pot-roasted poussins agro dolce

That's what I had for dinner tonight with some friends. Agro dolce if you don't know is a delicate Italian sweet and sour sauce. Jamie says there's something so comforting, deep and dark about this dish. And it's true. This is a fantastic dish to be served in the colder months of the year. Or perhaps a rainy summer evening, like today.

I love how the dish came together. It's so earthy with the scents of rosemary and cinnamon; but not at all heavy. I particularly love the sauce. The tangy-ness of the sauce is provided by a mixture of red wine vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes and Chianti wine. And the sweetness comes from the orange and sultanas.

I served the dish with baked potatoes stuffed with bacon, anchovies and garlic; another one of Jamie's recipe that I've made a couple of times before.


after baking in the oven for an hour

And for something sweet to complete the evening, I attempted to recreate a dessert I had at the London food festival last weekend: dark chocolate mousse with strawberries and coconut whip.

I enjoy this kind of cooking, the one with no recipes where I got to 'play' with my imagination and just go by look and taste.

The first layer of the dessert is some chopped fresh strawberries sweetened with vanilla sugar. Next is the dark chocolate mousse made with combining mascarpone cream, dark chocolate and folding some cream for lightness. It's then topped with coconut whipped cream, and garnished with grated coconut dark chocolate and fresh strawberries. It's summer in a martini glass.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, 25 June 2010

southern indian crab curry

I am often asked, "Michael, do you cook the recipes from Jamie's book in any particular order?"

Well, the answer is no. There is no order whatsoever. I just go by whatever I feel like eating. I either decide the night before or in the morning before I go to work. I then compile my shopping list to be done during my lunch break. But saying that, I normally choose recipes that are not too time consuming for weekday dinners and save all the stews, or fresh pasta, or any recipes that require slow-cooking for the weekend when I have more time.

For dinner tonight I had my very first crab curry. It was delicate and fresh and I think there's just something so comforting about curries. It could be the warmly spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, cardamom and chili; and also creaminess at the same time from the coconut milk.

Jamie's recipe for the crab curry is what I call a curry in a hurry recipe, because it's quick and easy to make, not that I'm in a hurry for anything this evening. It's Friday night, I haven't got any plans, just staying in watching the world cup with my friend, rekordelig strawberry-lime cider.

Anyway, the only challenge for me every-time is converting the recipe for 4 - 6 serving to serve 1, but I'm used to it now.

This is how to prepare the curry: heat a little olive oil in a large pan and add some fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cardamom pods (crushed and husks removed), cumin seeds, peeled and finely sliced ginger, onion, garlic and also deseeded and finely sliced red chilli. Fry on a medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly golden, then add some turmeric, butter and the brown crabmeat. After a minute or so, pour in coconut milk and some water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes to let all the flavours develop. Then add some lemon juice and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the sauce resembles double cream in consistency.

Before stirring in the white crabmeat, check that all the shell has been picked out, and then add in some coriander, simmer for another few minutes and taste. Season carefully with salt and pepper and a little more lemon juice if needed. Serve with some fluffy basmati rice and sprinkle with more coriander leaves.

I realised that there are some pungent spices in the curry, and you might think they'll over power the sweetness of the crabmeat, but not too worry; you'll just end up with a lovely depth of flavour and still be able to taste the crab. And who am I to question Jamie's recipe?

Enjoy your evening/day everyone.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

old-fashioned potted crab

After eating so many junks whilst watching the über important England match, I decided to jog around the beach for an hour. And also knowing what I'm about to have for dinner later.

I had old-fashioned potted crab, another recipe from Jamie's book. I never had anything potted before, and you know what, I liked it!

Jamie said once upon a time potting meat or fish was pretty common in Britain. I guess it was one way to preserve food and the results were regarded as highly as the French regard their pâtés.

It took me less than 10 minutes to prepare the potted crab and it is a nice recipe to serve at dinner parties or for cooking in advance.

This is how it's prepared: I smashed some fennel seeds, a pinch of dried chili, lemon zest with pestle and mortar. Put in a bowl and mix with some softened butter and brown crabmeat. The butter supposed to act as a preservative here as I've been told when I research about the history of potting meat on the internet. Anyway, back to the recipe, grate a little bit of nutmeg and stir in the white crabmeat. Season with salt and pepper and a tip from Jamie: chefs are always trained to slightly over-season food that is going to be served cold, like pâté or terrine, otherwise in a few hours or the next day, it can be a bit bland.

I then scooped the mixture to a mini le creuset pot and flattened it down with a spoon. Make sure that it doesn't quite reach the top of the pot. I melted some butter and spooned this over the crab mixture - this will be the 'lid' for the potted crab. Sprinkle with a little bit of dill before putting it in the fridge to set.

You can really taste the fennel, but it's not too overwhelming and I particularly enjoy the spicy hint from the dried chili.

I managed to demolish 2/3 of the pot

Day 296, 22 recipes to go... wow, time flies...

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

black angel tagliarini

After a long weekend of eating out, I'm glad to be back home and cooking again. For dinner tonight, and to continue with the project, I made black angel tagliarini. I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while but I was struggling to find the squid ink to make the fresh black pasta. And at my London trip on the weekend, I went to Harvey Nichols food hall and I found some dried black spaghetti which Jamie recommended to use as an alternative. Yay!!

Black pasta, if you never had it, it doesn't really taste any different to normal pasta.

The dish is called black angel tagliarini because the scallops are supposed to look like angels in the black pasta. I love this kind of recipe. It's so simple to make, the sauce comes together in minutes and it looks beautiful or angelic as one might say... The only thing to be careful though is not to over-cook the scallops as they'll become chewy.

The sauce itself is made of garlic, chilli, parsley, white wine, lemon juice and butter (and now you know why it's so delicious)...

I've also been very good with my time because I have tomorrow's dinner ready in the fridge. I cannot wait!

Have a good one.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

taste of London, etc

I just returned home from a weekend in London with my friends Adam and Kelly. The main purpose of the trip is to attend the taste of London ("the world's greatest restaurant festival" as quoted on the website) at Regent's Park; and to eat a lot.

We arrived on Friday lunchtime, and after a serious discussion on 'where should we go for lunch?' which Kelly and Adam agreed to go to any place as long as they can watch the football match, we went to Chicago Ribs Shack. We had a 'light' lunch of the Shack Combination Platter that consists of a quarter of BBQ chicken, a handful of baby back ribs, smoked brisket and pulled pork with a side of manslaw (their 'man' style coleslaw with grated cheddar, jalapeños and spicy chorizo sausage) and two bowls of chips. Delish! I was very tempted to get a dessert to share, like a sundae or a slice of pie, but Kelly reminded me that we'll be going for afternoon tea in a couple of hours, so next time perhaps.

After lunch, we checked-in to the hotel, changed our clothes and took a taxi to the Berkeley London at a posh London neighbourhood, Knightsbridge for afternoon tea. I mentioned this place a few blogs back, which you can read here; the afternoon tea, Prêt-à-Portea, is inspired by clothings and accessories from various well-known designers; all served on fine-bone china by Sir Paul Smith. And the menu changes every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion.

Out of all the sweets, my favourite was Sonia Rykiel nautical vanilla and raspberry jam layered mousse topped with humorous yellow hat (pictured above). It was just out of this world and I'm gonna try to recreate this, so just wait and see...

The evening was spent watching England vs Algeria match nearby our hotel. Another draw, and it was another disappointing result for England. Oh, come on England!

Saturday was the day... the day of the festival! Yay!!
There were loads of restaurants, food stalls (with free samples), food and drink master-classes, and music entertainment. I also met Gary Rhodes and Heston Blumenthal at the festival.

I'm trying to remember what we had there because there were loads: crisp-fried summer squid salad, seared tuna and green tea soba salad, steak and chips, garlicky snails and chorizo mash, minted Welsh lamb burger, apple danish pastry, cheesecake, fresh oysters, many kinds of spirits and beverages and I found... 'Rekordelig Premium Strawberry-Lime Cider' - My official new best friend. So refreshing.

mouth-watering cupcakes

I also stocked up on onion marmalade and sweet chilli jam from the food stalls because I'm almost running out. This is my second time at the festival and we cannot wait to come back for the next one in December.

We spent about four hours eating and drinking at the festival and then we went back to the hotel, took a nap, and watched a little bit of football before dinner at one of my favourite place, Bumpkin, a country-style restaurant at South Kensington.

To start I had warm duck salad with cucumber, fennel and toasted sesame seeds. I hope you're not sick of me saying 'Yum' to almost everything, because I'm just telling the truth and the salad was a definite yum...

And then I had the overnight roast belly of Plantation pork with Northumberland Pan Haggerty and red wine jus. Another definite YUM. The meat was melt-in-you-mouth tender and the crackling was perfect.

I have always believed that my stomach is divided into three different sections: for something to start, one for the main meal and another one for sweets and puddings. This weekend I used all these compartments and more...

I have had a great weekend in London, but I'm glad to be back home. I cannot wait to start cooking and to continue with the project.

Fruit bar for dinner.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, 17 June 2010


Yesterday was another football night with the guys.
My friend Mark had this idea that every person must bring a dish from a country that's in the World Cup. On paper, it does sound like a great idea, doesn't it? You'll find out...

I made a pot of Turkey Corn Chilli. I couldn't decide whether it's a Mexican or American but it doesn't matter because both country are in the World Cup. The chilli was then used to make nachos. I piled up some corn tortilla chips on a baking tray, layered the chili and I sprinkled a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese before putting it in the oven until the cheese melted. I garnished the nachos with few dollops of sour cream and slices of jalapenos.

Next, we had Mark's Spanish chorizo and butter bean stew served with crusty bread. The chorizo and the beans was cooked in red onions, garlic, chopped tomatoes and smoked paprika (I love the smell of smoked paprika). It was delicious. However, at this point, speaking on behalf of everyone, we were already full. And with three more dishes to go, this didn't look good.

After some football, and just before the first half of the match finished, it was time for Adam's Ratatouille pasta bake, a French-Italian inspired dish. A lovely dish, I especially love the cheesy crust but I could only managed the tiniest portion.

We took another break during half time and coming up next is Leo's Japanese Beef Curry. It was nice but I was struggling, honestly. Just the thought of it makes me full already and I haven't had anything yet to eat today. This is not like me, because I always want to eat.

I was gonna make chocolate brownie pudding but I scraped the idea. We just couldn't eat anymore. Although saying that, we had two scoops each of mint and chocolate chips ice cream; something sweet and cool to finish.

Uruguay won the match leaving the World Cup host, South Africa disappointed.

And so it's true our eyes are bigger than our belly. We have now came up with a new idea. For the next football night or any nights, we should only have one or two dish to share.

Tomorrow I'm going down to London for a weekend full of food. God help me...

Monday, 14 June 2010

crispy risotto cakes

Having leftovers of anything doesn't happen very often at my place. One of my favourite leftovers has got to be risotto because I can make my crispy risotto cakes. They're very easy to make and most of the preparation can be done early in the day, or even the night before as I did, and the sautéed just before dinner.

I mixed the leftover risotto with an egg, cream cheese and chives in a bowl and then cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight, to firm.

And when ready to cook, I shaped them into patties and coat in breadcrumbs. I like to use panko, or Japanese breadcrumbs, because they have a lighter texture than regular breadcrumbs. You should be able to find panko in a well-stocked Asian food store. I use them to make tempuras, fried pork chops, shrimps, etc...

I cooked the cakes on a hot pan with olive oil, turning them once, and cook for about three minutes on each side until the cakes are crisp and nicely browned.

The cream cheese and eggs give these cakes a delicious creamy interior, and the panko just gives them a wonderful crunchy crust. yum!

I served the cakes with a big dollop of sour cream and freshly ground black pepper.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

finger food and more

Yesterday's match between England and USA was intense I thought. There were moments when I couldn't watch the telly and I felt like my heart stopped for a split second. At the end it was a draw, 1-1 for both teams.

In case if you're wondering which team I support, it's... ok, here's the deal. I am torn. I used to live in the States and I have families and friends there; and for the office World Cup sweepstakes, I have USA. But now I live in England and I have always been an England football fan. And so yesterday, I wore my England top and I sang both national anthems, God Save the Queen and Star Spangled Banner. But if I have to choose only one team, it'll be England.

Anyway, let's talk about food. For times like this, dinner in front of the TV, I like crowd-pleasers that are manageable to eat in the living room and can be made well ahead of time so that when my friends arrive, there's hardly any work to be done. It's always handy to have crisps, pretzels, penuts and microwave popcorns which I love and there's nothing wrong with them. But, of course, I cannot just have them. I have to make something. As much thought and preparation, if not more, can go into finger foods as into a sit-down meal.

A finger food dinner can wind up being more work, especially when serving many selections. My strategy for this is to get as much preparation done as possible in advance. Gather the elements and have them sitting either in the fridge or on the counter, ready to be assembled. This makes my life much easier and gives me a chance to actually enjoy my get-together, maybe even have a couple of drinks myself!

Everybody loves to nibble whilst watching TV and one of the most requested nibble foods is chicken wings. I probably have about twenty-something recipes for chicken wings, and the one that I made yesterday was chicken wings with herbes de Provence and lemon zest. The wings can be prepared in the afternoon and just keep them in the fridge. About half an hour before everybody arrives, simply roast in a moderate oven.

I also made spicy sweet potato wedges that's flavoured with rosemary, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Again, these wedges can be prepared ahead of time and they can go in the oven at the same time with the wings. I served the wedges with a cool sour cream and chives dip. Yum.

And that's not it. I also made my curried risotto. Yes, risotto isn't exactly a quick dish to make but this is my strategy. I prepared all the elements ahead of time; the onions, celery, garlic, chicken and pancetta. And I also kept the stock simmering on low. At half time, I started cooking. I sautéed the finely chopped onions, celery, chicken and pancetta. And then I added the garlic and some spices, cumin, coriander and curry powder. I added the rice and some white wine. When the wine was reduced slightly, I added the stock a ladle at a time until the rice is perfectly cooked. I also stirred in a little mascarpone cheese towards the end of the cooking to give a lovely creaminess. All done in fifteen minutes, ready to be eaten during the second half of the match.

I didn't take any pictures of the risotto as the match was starting.

For something sweet at the end, we had Nigella's Chocolate and Pear Pudding. Again, I prepared the pudding ahead of time, keeping them in the fridge ready to be baked in the oven for 15 minutes which gave me plenty of time to whipped some cream.

Again, I managed to stuffed my friends, Adam and Kelly almost to death. It's been a great weekend with more matches and plenty of food to come.

Have a great one friends.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

weekday dinner

Dinner time tonight was filled with laughters and surrounded by great friends. I made maple and honey chicken and Chinese pork ribs. The chicken thighs were marinated overnight in maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, garlic and apple juice. And I used my own special sauce to marinate the pork ribs which consisted of sweet chilli, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, cranberry sauce (yes, cranberry sauce for some sweetness) and a little bit of lime.

Since most of the preparation was done the night before, all I needed to do earlier after work was just to put the chicken and ribs in hot oven until the chicken is cooked and the ribs are tender. Delicious.

And also to satisfy my vegetarian friend, I made honeycomb cannelloni, a recipe from Jamie's book. Jamie put a little twist to this pasta dish; rather than laying the cannelloni tubes on their sides, as is the traditional method, the cannelloni is stack facing up in a snug-fitting pan so they look a bit like a honeycomb pattern.

The cannelloni was then filled with a rich vegetable ragu and topped with a white sauce and cheese before baking it in the oven.

The first time I made this was kinda a disaster as I didn't use the right size cannelloni and the also the pan. And a note from Jamie for this recipe is, being precise helps! An advice I ignored the first time and I have learned my lesson.

And to end, for something sweet I made mango and coconut panna cotta which I prepared last night so that they can set and of course to also save time.

People who know me, know that they don't associate me with football but I am actually very excited for the World Cup which starts in a few hours. I'll be hosting few of the matches and I cannot wait to have some friends over for food and cold beverages. The first one will be this Saturday for England vs USA. Bring it on!

One last thing, Thank God it's Friday.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Mad Moroccan Lamb

Another reason why I love the weekend is I got the time to try some recipes from Jamie's book that are time-consuming. On the menu for dinner tonight was Mad Moroccan Lamb. I like lamb stews or roast lamb, and I like the idea of making a dish that looks different or maybe a bit mad.

When I saw this recipe for the first time, I thought it was weird and I was hesitant to try it. I'm not sure with idea of roasting a shoulder of lamb for a couple of hours and then burying it with couscous and then bake again for another hour... Jamie says this may seem a bit of a palaver, but actually it's a pretty easy dish to make. Yes, the lamb took about three hours to cook, but I didn't have to do anything while it roasts in the oven. And the result was meltingly tender lamb... yum.

So this is what I've done... First, I scored the whole shoulder of lamb in criss-crosses and then I rubbed the meat all over with freshly ground up cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, black peppercorns, dried chilli and sea salt before pushing some fresh rosemary leaves into the cuts. The lamb then went to a hot oven for two hours.

In the meantime, I fried some sliced red onions, cinnamon, thyme and chickpeas with a pinch of salt and pepper until softened. Then add some water and balsamic vinegar to the softened onions and let it simmer until the mixture is nice and thick.

In another pan, I boiled some stock and I added some raisins and dried apricots. Simmer for about five minutes, by which the fruit will have plumped up. Add a glug of olive oil and then the couscous. Remove from the heat to allow the couscous to soak up all the liquid. When no liquid is left, I poured the couscous to a large baking tray and I drizzled it with some olive oil.

After a couple of hours, the lamb will be nice and golden. I took the lamb out and I turned the oven down a bit as Jamie mentioned. In an oiled snug fitting roasting tray, I used my le creuset shallow casserole pot which was perfect, spoon some of the couscous and then topped with the chickpeas and then the lamb on top. And then, here comes the 'mad' bit I think. Completely cover the lamb with the rest of the couscous, put four lemon halves around the sides and then cover the pot with a wet and oiled greaseproof paper and aluminium foil before baking it for another hour.

I think Jamie didn't use any dried fruits in the couscous looking at the picture in the book, or at least any that's noticeable. But I liked mine with some specs of black and yellow.

Oh, and another thing, Jamie says the couscous crust (couscous is a funny word, isn't it?) should be lightly crispy and can be cracked open. But it wasn't a problem for me. It's just a little different.

And then it was time for my friends and I to eat. To serve, I shredded the meat and added a good dollop of yoghurt and sprinkled over some aromatic coriander leaves and sliced red chilli. Yum!

And for dessert, I made floating islands. It's basically meringues that are poached in hot milk and then served floating on a sea of custard and topped with spun sugar. Again this is another recipe that is time-consuming to make but not at all difficult to make. My favourite bit was making the spun sugar which I thought was a lot of fun. This is my 137th recipe and I have 27 left to try.

Anyway, I can hear my bed calling me now.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, 4 June 2010


As much as I love having friends around and cooking for them, I also enjoy being the guest (though this doesn't happen very often, but very exciting when it actually happened). The past few weeks I have been invited for several meals and I'd like to share some of them:

My friend Adam made this lovely Irish Lasagne, which he called Spudagne a few weeks back. It's still lasagne but instead of layering sheets of pasta over the meat sauce, he used mashed potatoes (spuds) and then topping it with white bechamel sauce and loads of cheese before baking in the oven. My other friend, however jokingly called the dish as cottage pie which stirred up some debates. Well, call it whatever you like, but I will call it delicious comfort food.

Last weekend, Kelly and I were invited for Glee evening at Cailean's friend's mansion. The house was beautiful and somehow I felt like we were transported from the North East of England to Tuscany. It could be the effect of the long island iced tea and big glasses of wine we had.
After a lot of food, Glee, laughs and chats and a good night sleep, in the morning for breakfast, we had cinnamon swirls, Danish pastries, and Cailean prepared some eggs benedict that consisted of half of an English muffin, topped with bacon, poached egg, hollandaise sauce and chives. yum.

Also at the same weekend, I was invited for a BBQ at Nina and Fitim's house. However, the weather wasn't the best so most of the cooking had to be done indoor. Nina must had been cooking for hours because she prepared so many dishes. There were prawns cooked in oyster sauce, spicy lamb kebab with peppers, grilled corn on the cob, grilled chicken, vegetable dumplings soup, meatballs cooked in tomato and coriander sauce and a vegetable dish which I cannot remember. What a feast and they were all delish!

And tonight I was invited for another extensive meal, and this time, not only one but three of my friends cooked for us. Thank you to Cindy, Shirley and Tere. We had Chinese chicken and corn soup, fried cauliflower, vegetable stir-fry, curried vegetable, steamed chicken and a beef dish cooked in soy sauce. After all that delicious food, we then had rum and raisin ice-cream. Just perfect to end the night.

Thank you everyone for having me and for your hospitality. I am so spoilt and I cannot wait for your turn to come to mine or for your other invites. :)

Have a great one.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Summertime Tagliarini, Aubergine Parmesan and Swiss Roll

Yesterday for lunch I made summertime tagliarini, a pasta dish served with a refreshing and zingy sauce that's made of pine nuts, lemon, parmesan and pecorino cheese, parsley and olive oil. It is like blond pesto, really. And even though the weekend wasn't very warm (in fact, cold), the tagliarini was still delicious.

Last night to celebrate my friend, Merlyn's birthday that I missed last week, I cooked a birthday dinner. I made my Japanese Cream of Corn Soup, yummy as usual to start.

Since last Wednesday, I was craving for aubergine (eggplant) parmesan and so that's what we also had last night. My other friend, Leo is temporarily a vegetarian, so it's perfect. I grilled the thick slices of aubergines before layering them with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and baked in the oven. The aubergine towers then served with a spicy tomato and pepper sauce and sautéed mushrooms.

And dessert was Jamie's 1980s-style Black Forest Swiss Roll, which turned out to be Swiss Fold because I was too greedy with the filling and I couldn't roll it. The presentation was not the best I must say, but it was sinfully delicious. The chocolate sponge was brushed with orange and cherry juice before layering it with melted chocolate, whipped cream, cooked cherries and rolled (or in my case, fold). Yum. We all had two generous slices each.

I gotta go to the gym now.